Made with Moxie: October 2013

October 30, 2013

Big City Bags & a Giveaway!

If you know Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness, then you know that Sara knows handbags. She has made so many gorgeous patterns and tutorials for handbags. Sara's a handmade fashionista's best friend. Plus, she looks so stinking cute in the dresses she makes!) Well, hold on to your hats and glasses folks, because I've got big news!

Big-City Bags: Sew Handbags with Style, Sass, and Sophistication || Made with Moxie

Sara has made a book!

Big-City Bags: Sew Handbags with Style, Sass, and Sophistication is set to be released next week and you get a sneak peak today! I was lucky enough to be one of Sara's bag testers as she was writing her book.

Take a look at one of the fabulous patterns in Big City Bags: the Wonderland Bag:

From Big City Bags by Sara Lawson || sewn by Jill Dorsey at Made with Moxie

I've had to keep this baby a secret for so long! Just look at this fabulous bag. Everyone who sees it loves it, and very few ever even think it is handmade. I just love Sara's bag designs. They have beautiful structure and are laid out with nice pockets for easy convenience.

From Big City Bags by Sara Lawson || sewn by Jill Dorsey at Made with Moxie

Big City Bags is chock full of gorgeous handbag patterns and included great tips to assembling them, like zippers, pockets, hardware and handles. From date night clutches to diaper bags and suitcases (yes! A suitcase) Sara's Big City Bags has a bag for every occasion.Sara has also included a great interfacing guide along with a conversion chart so you can know which types of interfacing are comparable between brands.

From Big City Bags by Sara Lawson || sewn by Jill Dorsey at Made with Moxie

I can't wait to get my copy of Big City Bags and make another one. Sara and Martingale Press have been awesome enough to allow me to give away a digital copy of Big City Bags to one of my readers! Isn't that exciting!

Can't wait to get your hands on a physical copy of Big City Bags? Order a copy signed by Sara right here!

Big-City Bags: Sew Handbags with Style, Sass, and Sophistication || Made with Moxie

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October 28, 2013

I'm a Tough Mudder!

On Saturday, October 19th, I did it! I finished the Tough Mudder! You may have read earlier this month about how and why I trained for the Mudder, and I'm happy to report that I have achieved my goal and finished. I promised to share some pictures with you. I apologize for the quality, but they were either from my phone, which was the only camera I brought along, or from spectator photos.

Hubby and I before the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder 2013 || Made with Moxie
My husband and I before the Mudder

Sliding down a hill into a mud put on the Mud Mile during the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder 2013 || Made with Moxie
Sliding down a hill during the Mud Mile into a pit of mud

Exiting the Arctic Enema obstacle during the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder 2013 || Made with Moxie
The faces you make after jumping into a freighter container and submerging under ice filled water after running a few miles on a 60 degree day. There may have been expletives escaping my mouth at that point. But it was still freaking awesome. (Photo Credit: Tough Mudder)

Pre-washing the mud off after the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder 2013 || Made with Moxie
Soaking the caked mud off before the washing machine.

Why you should wear long sleeves during the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder 2013 || Made with Moxie
Turns out, you should wear long sleeves when you will be army crawling through mud and gravel at multiple time during the day.


Over 10 miles of mud, ice water, climbing, jumping, electrocution, have helped me to know the ends of my physical capabilities and fears. It was an amazing day with awesome obstacles. It tested my abilities and mental resolve like nothing else. The 30 hours of childbirth I experienced with each of my kiddos wase easier than this. No joke.

Will I do it again? Not likely. I proved what I set out to do, but I'd love to do another obstacle race again. Just a much shorter one.

Did I have fun? Hell, yes. It was very fun. It was awesome to do with with my husband, and with our friends. It gave me a renewed optimism in humanity as complete strangers helped me and everyone else out when they needed it. Training for and completing the Tough Mudder was a humbling and inspiring experience. I may have cried crossing the finish line.

Myself as a Tough Mudder: Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder 2013 || Made with Moxie
Me in my hard won Orange Headband!


Oh my gosh! I almost completely forgot! I need to give you all a HUGEMONGUS THANK YOU for everyone who donated to my Wounded Warrior Project fund as part of my Tough Mudder run. Together we raised $1,190, which will be matched by my team sponsor, Microsoft, to become $2,380 for the Wounded Warrior Project. Our Microsoft Team was the top fund raiser at the Mid Atlantic Tough Mudder that weekend, raising over $23,000. You guys are so freakin awesome. Many, many thanks.

October 23, 2013

Wiener Dog Hoodies: KCW Day Two

Having kids that are only 20 months apart is almost like having twins. You really have to do everything in pairs. I can't make one hoodie. I have to make two. Which means double trouble during Kids Clothes Week. (deep breaths)

Wiener Dog Appliqued & Upcycled Hoodies for Kids Clothes Week || sewn by Made with Moxie

On Monday, Jane put on a new shirt her grandmother had bought her with wiener dogs all over it. As I helped her pull it over her head, Jimmy looked down at his plaid shirt and sadly asked, "Where my doggie shirt?" My mother in law has two wiener dogs and my kids love the hell out of thos dogs. I couldn't let Jimmy down and leave him without a doggie shirt.

I go through the kid sale racks often for blank or mostly blank clothes that I can upcycle into something nicer all the time. There hoodies I bought last year on sale. They said something silly on the front, but would be easily enough to cover up.

Wiener Dog Appliqued & Upcycled Hoodies for Kids Clothes Week || sewn by Made with Moxie

I whipped up quick wiener dog appliques with freezer paper and Pellon Wonder Under on fabrics the kids picked out. (Which probably took as long as it did to make the damn things.) A quick press with the iron and a run of zig zags, and the wiender dog hoodies were made. I added some handstitching with embroidery floss around the appliques. Jane requested her name on the heart of her hoodie. I was tempted to write "I heart my..." above Jimmy's wiener dog, but decided to keep it PG.

Wiener Dog Appliqued & Upcycled Hoodies for Kids Clothes Week || sewn by Made with Moxie

Wiener Dog Appliqued & Upcycled Hoodies for Kids Clothes Week || sewn by Made with Moxie
Nutters
Wiener Dog Appliqued & Upcycled Hoodies for Kids Clothes Week || sewn by Made with Moxie

Wiener Dog Appliqued & Upcycled Hoodies for Kids Clothes Week || sewn by Made with Moxie

Quick and easy appliqued wiener dog hoodies? Check. Just the kind of project I needed during Kids Clothes Week when I'm making for two!

What did you make today?

October 21, 2013

Crochet Skull Cap and Upcycled Jeans: KCW Day One

I'm dedicating this Kid's Clothes Week to Jimmy. Sewing for boys is fun, and then there is this boy! Who knew a two year old could ooze so much character? His smile just slays me and he knows it. Plus, little dude loves him some new clothes.

Double crochet skull cap and upcycled jeans for boys || KCW at Made with Moxie

Case in point: Jimmy's new skull cap. The boy won't take it off, which is a huge sigh of relief. Last winter this kiddo wouldn't keep a hat on if his life depended on it. I'd put one on and before I even turned away it was off and thrown somewhere. A few weeks ago, Rachael was cleaning out her stash and had tons of yarn she wasn't likely to use, so I told her I'd take all her natural fiber yarns. The ball of olive green wool yarn was just perfect for a Jimmy sized hat.

Double crochet skull cap and upcycled jeans for boys || KCW at Made with Moxie
Yaaar! It's his pirate face.

When I make hats, I use this awesome guide to double crochet a circle just smaller than the person's head size. Then I stop increasing and double crochet until the hat is the length I want it. I finish with a few rows of single crochet with a size smaller crochet hook to tighten the brim. It's such an easy, no brainer crocheted skull cap pattern. So easy, I'm working on one for my husband, who can never find a large enough hat for his head and next in line is hat for Jane. She is feeling left out already!

Double crochet skull cap and upcycled jeans for boys || KCW at Made with Moxie

Jimmy's jeans are upcycled from my favorite pair of maternity jeans. I am a huge sucker for a good pair of jeans and if I could have figured out how to un-maternity these jeans I would have. I never send a good pair of worn jeans to Goodwill. Instead they sit in the sewing pile until the kiddos need new jeans. Both Jimmy and Jane are long and skinny waisted kids. Store bought jeans are either going to fall off or be too short most every time. Upcycling adult jeans in to kid jeans is great. You get to use the original hem and side seam, so they whip up quickly and look store bought. Add pockets and a encased elastic waistband, and your done.

Double crochet skull cap and upcycled jeans for boys || KCW at Made with Moxie

Double crochet skull cap and upcycled jeans for boys || KCW at Made with Moxie
Moose antlers. Don't shoot!

I would love to be able to make a shirt like this flannel one for Jimmy. Anyone know of a good yoked shirt pattern for little boys? This one is one of my favorites in his wardrobe, but as you can see, the sleeves are already too short for him. Any suggestions? Also, do you know of a good shop to get pearl snaps from? I've only got the ring kind.

Kid's Clothes Week Day One done, and my little dude is so ready for fall. I just want to go apple picking with him, carve pumpkins and roll in leaves. Sigh. He has that affect on me.

October 17, 2013

Tough Mudder

This Saturday I am running the Tough Mudder. If you've don't know what that is, it's a 10 to 12 mile endurance challenge with obstacles designed by the British Special Forces that include ice water, tons of mud, log carries, wall climbs, fire and electrocution. This is no cute Mud Run. This is not the Spartan. It's the mothereffing Mudder. If you think I've lost my mind, you are probably right.

It all started just over a year ago. We had friends of ours over for dinner and one of them had finished his first Tough Mudder the day before. His arms and legs were torn up, he needed an extra dose of ibuprofen, and was slightly concerned he may have broken his nose. More importantly, he challenged himself. In a event where most would decide they were too fat and lazy to bother, he emerged victorious.

 My path to the Tough Mudder: How one blogger mom set out to find herself. Help her reach her goal!
Me, August 2012

Days before we has just celebrated Jimmy's first birthday. While I was no longer wearing maternity clothes, I was overweight and out of shape. I used to be a runner. I could run 5 miles a day for days in a row with no major physical discomfort. Having two children and quitting my career to be a stay at home mom left me buried in an unfamiliar cocoon.

I felt lost.

I couldn't find Me.

I needed to make a change.

At that dinner last August, I decided I would train and finish the Tough Mudder next year. I talked my husband into doing it with me. It was a good excuse to get back in shape and set a specific goal and time frame.

 My path to the Tough Mudder: How one blogger mom set out to find herself. Help her reach her goal!

We bought two of the least expensive running strollers and started running. We found two framed backpack kiddo carriers at a consignment store and started hiking as a family. We cut out fast food. We ate at home. We did yoga videos and got a medicine ball to exercise with. I decided to do a plank a day, everyday. In May, we climbed a volcano to over 11,300 feet above sea level.

But training time is up and my Tough Mudder is in two days. In the beautiful, autumnal mountains of West Virginia. I'll be honest. I go back and forth between totally pumped and scared shitless. But I set out to do the Tough Mudder and finish it, and damn it, that is exactly what I am going to do.

 My path to the Tough Mudder: How one blogger mom set out to find herself. Help her reach her goal!
Me, August 2013

I'm going to do something I don't often ask you do to. I want you to make a donation to my Tough Mudder race. The extra bonus is that I am running the Mudder on Team Microsoft and Microsoft has pledged to match every donation I collect for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The ante has been upped and my husband has pledged to match all your donations as well! Thanks, lover!

Give $50 and make dinner at home instead (Your $50 becomes a $200 donation!). Give $30 and skip the lattes this month (It will become a $120 donation.) Give $10 and pass on a yard of new fabric that you don't really need (It will become a $40 donation.). Give something. Because this money goes to benefit people who left their families and put their lives on the line so you didn't have to. They fight so you don't have to and they came back with no legs, or missing an arm, or have sustained some other injury that you won't ever encounter in your daily routine.

Please make a donation today. If you absolutely can't make a donation, please share my story on your facebook and twitter. Pin this post. Tag me in your instagram. Help me meet me goals. And I'll surely be posting the before and after pictures next week!

Need more inspiration? Check out this video about the relationship between the Wounded Warrior Project and the Tough Mudder.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. See you at the finish line! (And don't forget to make a donation!)

October 11, 2013

Beach Bum Bimaa for Boys

Beach Bum Bimaa hooodie and pin-up Prefontaine Shorts for boys || Made with Moxie || Sewing for boys, kids clothing sewing


We're spending a few days in Southern California. So when Sarah of Emmyloubeedou asked me to join her Bimaa tour I decided to whip one up for Jimmy. The pattern is offered by Lou Bee Clothing patterns and I've got to say, it's a good deal. The pattern comes with a shawl collar, a cowl neck collar, and a new hoodie finish, too. It seems like every pattern tour I do it for girls, so I was psyched to make something for my little dude.

I used a light weight red thermal fabric and a star print thermal as an accent. Okay, so I didn't have enough red to do the entire Beach Bum Bimaa, but I like the contrast effect.

Beach Bum Bimaa hooodie and pin-up Prefontaine Shorts for boys || Made with Moxie || Self drafted kangaroo pocket and contrast fabric trim.

Beach Bum Bimaa hooodie and pin-up Prefontaine Shorts for boys || Made with Moxie || Self drafted kangaroo pocket and contrast fabric trim.

I complimented Jimmy's new Bimaa hoodie with a pair of Prefontaine shorts for our beach adventure. The fabric is a Robert Kaufman pin up girl print with Hawaiian hibiscus. The colors match so well and Jimmy loves a new pair of Prefontaine shorts. The fabric was left over from a Hawaiian shirt I made for my husband last year.

Beach Bum Bimaa hooodie and pin-up Prefontaine Shorts for boys || Made with Moxie || Ladies in his pockets, hawaiian style.

Pin-up Prefontaine Shorts for boys || Made with Moxie || Sewing for boys. Fun Hawaiian pin-up girls print fabric.

I used the shape of the Bimaa pattern front to draft a kangaroo shape pocket for the front of the hoodie. My kids are suckers for pockets. Jimmy was delighted to keep his hands tucked in.

My favorite part of the Bimaa hoodie pattern is that I sewed the entire thing with my serger. Knits and my sewing machine don't seem to play together well. But my serger loves knits so I kill two birds with one stone.

Beach Bum Bimaa hooodie and pin-up Prefontaine Shorts for boys || Made with Moxie || Self drafted kangaroo pocket for boy Bimaa pattern. Sewing for boys.

Pin-up Prefontaine Shorts and Beach Bum Bimaa hoodie with kangaroo pocket for boys || Made with Moxie || Sewing for boys. Fun Hawaiian pin-up girls print fabric and snuggly thermal hoodie with stars.

Want to make your own Beach Bum outfit? Grab a copy of the Bimaa hoodie pattern here and the Prefontaine shorts pattern here. Hope y'all are enjoying nice weather and a great weekend!


October 2, 2013

The Sally Dress

My kids grow too fast to warrant my sewing very many clothes for them. They are in the prime of their growing and I swear they shoot up like fresh bean sprouts the instant I finish a garment for them. I do, however, love to make my daughter, Jane, dresses. She is such a princess, so when Shannon asked me to sew up her new pattern, The Sally Dress by Very Shannon, I was more than happy to.

Sally Dress pattern by Very Shannon || Made with Moxie

Sally Dress pattern by Very Shannon || Made with Moxie

A girlie girl at heart, Jane loves to wear dresses. I gladly sew them for her, not only because she loves them, but because I can make them so that they fit as a dress and she can then wear them as tunics and tops as she grows up, up, up.

In a Miley Cyrus world, I am in no rush to start dressing my three year old daughter in anything hootchie looking. The Sally Dress is an adorable vintage inspired dress with modern flair. It's modest and sweet as little girls should be, without the ruffles and uncomfortable details we all hated on our clothes as a kid. There are no zippers, snaps or buttons to fuss with (both she and I appreciate that) and the lined bodice means no seam allowances up against the skin.

Sally Dress pattern by Very Shannon || Made with Moxie

All pattern desigers should make a note here. Kids love pockets. The Sally Dress has huge, lined pockets that remind me of the pockets in Treasure Pocket Pants from the book Sewing For Boys. The are just fabulous. Jane wants to keep her hands in them. She wants to twirl around with her hands in them. She wants to fill them with acorns and leaves and everything else she can find.

Sally Dress pattern by Very Shannon || Made with Moxie

I made Jane's Sally Dress with one of the crazy sushi prints I got on my trip to Hawaii and a pink polka dot from JoAnn's. I wish I could pull off wearing a dress like this, without looking like a total nutter. The Sally Dress pattern sews up without a hitch, can be made in an afternoon, and is guaranteed to be loved by any little girl in your life. What more could you want out of a sewing pattern? A sale? A free pattern? I've got both for you today!

The Sally Dress is currently on sale as part of the Sew Fab Bundle. That's 26 patterns for less than $30. The only place else you an get patterns at a price like that is at JoAnn's on a sale Saturday, and who wants to deal with that madness?

Shannon has also graciously offered a free copy of The Sally Dress to a Made with Moxie reader! To enter the giveaway, use the Raffflecopter widget below.

Sally Dress pattern by Very Shannon || Made with Moxie

Can't stand wait to see if you win and want your own copy of The Sally Dress now?
Click over to the Very Shannon shop.

Want to get the super Sew Fab deal and buy the entire bundle that includes the Sally Dress?
Go get it right here before it's gone.


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Disclosure: I received this pattern free as part of The Sally Pattern Dress Tour. All opinions my own.

sally dress pattern tour on luvinthemommyhood.com

Thank you for stopping in and happy stitching!